02 October 2016
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    » 07/02/2012, 00.00

    INDIA

    Singh and Gandhi among Assam's flood victims as the rest of India runs dry



    A million people are left homeless, 77 are killed and six are missing. Some 2,000 villages have been affected across the state. Monsoons are late in 83 per cent of the country. Government plans a US$ 75 million plan to forecast monsoons.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, president of the ruling Congress party, are in Assam today, visiting areas where monsoon rains have left almost a million people homeless. At least 77 people have died from landslides. Another six are missing. Overall, some 2,000 villages in 27 of the northeastern state's districts are said to be under water.

    The prime minister announced a subsidy of 100,000 rupees (US$ 1,800) per victim. The Defence Ministry is providing the full assistance of the army in the rescue operations.

    Whilst the people of Assam are going through what many say is the worst flood since 1998, the rest of India is dry, with serious consequences for agriculture.

    Officials with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the rains should hit northern states at the end of this week, later than the 29 June forecast given as the start of the monsoon season. Compared to last year, 83 per cent of the country saw an average 31 per cent drop in rain.

    Late seasonal monsoons, which were the exception but are now almost the rule, have raised concerns in a country where 235 million people are farmers. For this reason, the authorities have launched a US$ 75 million plan to study and forecast with greater accuracy the arrival of monsoons.

    The plan includes the use of computer models developed by the UK and the US.

    "Understanding the monsoon will be a major priority of the government for the next five years," said Shailesh Nayak, a senior official in the ministry of earth sciences.

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    See also

    26/05/2007 INDIA
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    06/11/2014 INDIA
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    13/06/2006 INDIA
    Fresh wave of terrorism kills eight people in last five days in Assam
    Latest victim dies in market bomb attack. For police responsibility lays with secessionist United Liberation Front of Assam.

    03/11/2008 INDIA
    In Assam terrorism rooted in ethnic problems and unemployment
    Fr V M Thomas, a Salesian priest and executive director of the Don Bosco Institute in Guwahati, explains the reasons behind the escalating violence and the explosions. Last Thursday’s blasts also hit Christians.

    30/07/2008 INDIA
    Indian couple requests abortion for fetal heart defect
    The country's law bans abortion after the 20th week. The fetus, now in the 25th week, has heart problems that would require the insertion of a pacemaker after birth, followed by regular operations to replace it. A firm "no" from the Church, which defends the absolute principle of the "right to life".



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